Posts Tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Lagniappe, a little something extra, in this photo, a rainbow spray reflected from the rising sun.

Lagniappe, a little something extra, in this photo, a rainbow spray reflected from the rising sun.

I do not often resort to absolutes like the word Must, but today I can think of no other way to say what I want to say about gratitude. When Thanksgiving rolls around in the midst of fall, temperatures cool, leaves change and remind us that life ends. We are faced with mortality every time a leaf crunches under our feet. I could focus on this. I could turn my attention to the anger and hatred burning in the buildings of Ferguson. Or I could remember to be grateful.

I choose gratitude. Recently, a close friend has met with tragedy. Two weeks ago, Glenae’s little car hit a sugarcane tractor. She is “lucky to be alive.” Yet beyond the realization that she could be gone is the reality that recovery is hard. I get texts from her mother every day. Every day her text ends with gratitude. I believe in the power of prayer and in the power of community surrounding this family. But to me the most powerful thing, the thing that will pull Glenae through her recovery is her mother’s will to live in gratitude.

We never know when things will change. My husband says, “Anything can happen to anybody at any time.” This is true, so we must live each day in gratitude. I am grateful for the health of my family and myself. I am grateful that I wake up every day to the reflection on the bayou, God’s beauty in nature. I am grateful that I have so many people in my life who give me hope, strength, and love. Living in gratitude will give me strength when things change as they most certainly will. I will face the new day in the knowledge that God’s love is abundant. Happy Thanksgiving!

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See more Poetry Friday at Carol's Corner.

See more Poetry Friday at Carol’s Corner.

Bradford pear tree

Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, Betsy Hubbard of Two Writing Teachers asked us to take a moment to be still and write a poem. I actually wrote this poem by speaking into my phone on the way to Walgreens to get some decongestant. (My sinuses do not like the cold.) While I was shopping, a young woman, girl actually, asked if she could help me find something. Then she commented that I smelled. “It’s not a bad smell.” I had carried the roasting turkey smell with me. Anything can make its way into a poem.

Thanksgiving Day

Fire orange blazes from the tops of the trees
announcing the season’s change,
so I drive to my parents’ home by the lake
through the woods, tall pines, draping oaks.

Mama puts the turkey on early in the morning
while I still lounge in pajamas.
That Thanksgiving smell fills the air,
a scent I cannot emulate,
a scent I hold here

in my clothes, in my hair, my heart.
My mind does not wander to times before;
I do not miss the sound of children.
No, I am just here with this now,

This turkey roasting, the warmth of the fire,
this place where I am always loved.

–Margaret Simon

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More Thanks

Link to Teaching Authors two weeks of thanks

Yesterday my 14 year old niece interviewed me for her journalism class. While my family around me wondered why she would choose me to interview, I felt privileged that she asked me…as an author. Her questions were good. They made me really think, and I enjoyed telling her about this journey. She asked me when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I told her the story about finding my diary from 1975 when I was her age. (See this post.) When she asked what advice I would give to students who would like to be writer, I said surround yourself with people who affirm and support you.

Today, for the Two weeks of Thanksgiving, I am writing a thanku for all of my people who support this crazy writing life.

How the live oaks stand
On roots of strength and caring
I am blessed by you.

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

On the Two Writing Teachers blog this morning, I found these quotes:

“Walk through life like a writer.” –Lucy Calkins
“Tell the truth about your life and what’s really going on.” –Georgia Heard
“We know the truth of ordinary life events. Everything doesn’t end with ‘happily ever after’.” –Georgia Heard

I needed to hear all three. My ankle hurts. In our family when you complain like this, we call you (me) the “Bo-bo queen.” Something about annoying pain of an integral body part has made me thus. I am grateful for my new doctor-friend who fixed me up yesterday with an ankle brace and some powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. But I struggled with a blog post for this Tuesday slice because I didn’t want to whine, but I was unable to come up with something to write about. And then, this morning I read the wise words from Georgia Heard, “Tell the truth about your life and what’s really going on.” So I’m here letting you know that my ankle hurts.

But also, I am thankful.

Teens from St. Barnabas youth group gave out candy-filled mugs in holiday wrap.

Every Tuesday morning I serve at our church’s outreach mission, Solomon House. This morning was filled with joy. Teens from a youth group showed up with bins full of mugs wrapped in holiday wrapping to give out to the clients. The clients lined up all along the sidewalk. Each of them greeted me with kindness. What do I have to complain about? Nothing. The truth is there are many hurting people out there. They heart in mind, body, and spirit. I can look them in the eye with true love and gratefulness.

Another slicer, Linda B. at Teacher Dance, introduced me to the thanku movement led by Teaching Authors. A thanku is a haiku of thanks. Here is my attempt to capture the morning:

Many hands spread joy
Many hands give thanks for you
Walk your path in peace,
knowing this.

Link to Teaching Authors two weeks of thanks

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